Who Is Lady Lylla In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? Relationship With Rocket Raccoon Explored

“We’ll all fly away together, one last time, into the forever and beautiful sky.” - Rocket

by Abhirup Sengupta
Image: Marvel Comics, Marvel Studios

The recent Super Bowl trailer of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 focused on Rocket Raccoon, much akin to the first promotional clip from the highly anticipated movie. From the footage and past comments by Gunn, it is clear that most of the spotlight is on Rocket and his backstory, which explains the addition of Lylla and the High Evolutionary.

While certain leaks had already prepared the MCU enthusiasts about the introduction of Chukwudi Iwuji’s High Evolutionary as the antagonist, fans were positively surprised by the glimpses of Lady Lylla in the trailers. In both footages, Rocket can be seen embracing an otter with a cybernetic arm, i.e., Lady Lylla.

Thus, it is clear that Lylla will be heavily featured in Rocket’s backstory before his days with Groot and the Guardians. Now, it remains to be seen if Rocket’s romantic relationship with Lylla will be explored in its entirety.

Lady Lylla Origin, Abilities, And Relationship With Rocket – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Theories

In Marvel Comics, Lylla was introduced in 1982’s Incredible Hulk #271. She is described as a “sapient otter” from a planet named, Halfworld, where she is an heiress to Inter-Stel Mechanics/Mayhem Mekaniks toy company.

According to her comic origin, Lylla is targeted by multiple individuals in Halfworld who are after her company and wealth. Following her parents’ murder by the order of their employee, Judson Jakes, Lylla faces several conspirators like Lord Dyvyne and Blackjack O’Hare.

Rocket’s Relationship With Lylla

In Halfworld, Lylla is also introduced to Rocket Raccoon, with whom she forms a romantic entanglement. However, their relationship was under a constant potential threat by the likes of Lylla’s adversaries, who wanted to marry her to inherit the toy company. Their relationship and backstories were explored in depth in Rocket’s solo comic series from 1985, Rocket Raccoon Vol 1.

Despite their deep love for each other, Rocket’s relationship with Lylla was cut short when the former had to leave Halfworld. In order to keep a human antagonist named Barry Bauman (Star Thief) imprisoned on Halfworld, Rocket wiped his memories and left the planet. Following this, Lylla kept her word to her former foe-turned-ally Blackjack O’Hare and married him.

Despite such a nuanced and tragic comic storyline, the MCU is expected to streamline the relationship and change the history between Rocket and Lylla. Interestingly, Lady Lylla was first introduced in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. When the Nova Corps arrested Rocket along with Peter Quill, Gamora, and Groot, his criminal record featured Lylla’s name as an associate.

The Likely Change In Lylla And Rocket’s Origin

As hinted in the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and previous installments, Rocket was genetically engineered. This is where MCU will connect the High Evolutionary with Rocket’s origin. Unlike in the comics, where Rocket was sort of created by sentient AI on Halfworld, the third film will establish that the High Evolutionary experimented on him.

Though Rocket is established as a Halfworldian in the MCU, it is possible that he was taken by the High Evolutionary, who proceeded to make cybernetic enhancements on him. This is clear as Rocket is also referred to as subject 89P13, as showcased in the trailers of GOG V3. Furthermore, this would mean that James Gunn and co. have mostly ripped out Rocket’s backstory on Halfworld, i.e., the Toy wars saga and the involvement of Star Thief.

Lylla_arm
Lylla’s arm in GOG V3. Trailer | Image: Marvel Studios

Similarly, a change in Rocket’s origin would also translate to Lylla’s backstory. The two likely met while being subjected to the High Evolutionary’s experiments in the MCU timeline. This hypothesis would explain the cybernetic enhancements on Lylla (i.e., the mechanical arm) as showcased in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 trailers.

Lylla’s Abilities

As established in Marvel Comics, Lylla has a similar skillset and abilities as that of Rocket Raccoon. In addition to her physiological advantages as an Otter, including her heightened agility and swimming prowess, Lylla is also adept in combat and handling weapons.

Lylla’s cybernetic arm in the MCU would also give her a further advantage in combat. However, it remains to be seen if Lylla has developed the technical knowledge and mechanical prowess as that of Rocket.

With such hype of Lylla’s inclusion as Rocket’s love interest in GOG Vol. 3, it remains to be seen if the character will make further appearances in future MCU films. The fate of Lylla’s future appearances remains in question, as a legion of Marvel fans believe that Rocket will be killed off in this film, which would explain as to why this film is the last in the Guardians of the Galaxy series.

- This article was updated on February 15th, 2023